On Memorial Day veterans remember soldiers who didn’t come home
News from McClatchy Washington Bureau:

The Miami Herald

Memorial Day was established in 1868 to honor Civil War soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Originally called Decoration Day, for the tradition of decorating graves of the fallen with flowers, it became a national holiday in 1971, observed annually on the last Monday in May.

As 90-year-old Daniel Raines ponders the 900-per-day death rate of his fellow World War II veterans, some close friends, he laments the holiday’s drift from its intended focus to one of bargain shopping and revelry.

“A lot of people think of Memorial Day as a celebration, but there is sadness, too,’’ said Raines, a resident of the Miami Veteran’s Administration Medical Center’s Community Living Center. “You mourn; you don’t celebrate.’’

Raines, formerly of Plantation — by way of a food-service career on Long Island — enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

He served stateside with the Signal Corps and received a medical discharge in 1943 after a serious on-base accident, but feels part of his generation’s profound sacrifice: an estimated 417,000 Americans in combat.

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Honor Flight Netwo…………… continues on McClatchy Washington Bureau

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Flowers, flags adorn Vets Home graves on Memorial Day
News from Napa Valley Register:

U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Leonard died more than a half-century ago, but was remembered for his valor Sunday night by two Napa boys.

With a ceremonial watch fire burning bright just outside the gates of the cemetery, 11-year-old Byron Fitzpatrick and his brother Charlee Fitzpatrick, 8, left glow sticks at the grave of the soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his service during the Philippine Insurrection.

Though the boys are not related to the deceased veteran and know nothing more about him than what is etched in gold on his grave stone, they have left a small, glowing recognition at his grave on the eve of Memorial Day for the past six years.

“You earn the Medal of Honor by doing something very brave and courageous,” Byron said, pointing to the locations where the other handful of Medal of Honor recipients rest at the cemetery of the Veterans Home of California at Yountville.

“I think they deserve extra respect because they did something that probably saved their whole group, or something really substantial,” Byron said.

Others who attended the watch fire ceremony also left glow sticks at grave sites, which hours earlier had been marked with fresh flowers. For at least 15 years, volunteers have congregated at the cemetery the day before Memorial Day to decorate the graves.

“We decorate as far as the fl…………… continues on Napa Valley Register

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